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Fellowships, Scholarships and Essay Contests

Fellowships, Scholarships and Essay Contests

Many national, state and local bar associations and other legal organizations afford students the opportunity to compete for a variety of fellowships and scholarships and in numerous legal writing competitions.

Fellowship programs are often associated with law-related internships that provide students with exceptional practical legal training and important networking opportunities.

Scholarship programs, while helping to defray the cost of law school attendance, offer additional benefits — the prestige of being the only student or one of a small number of students to be selected for the scholarship as well as opportunities to network with the attorneys who are awarding the scholarship.

Essay-writing competitions enable students to hone their legal research, writing and advocacy skills; produce a writing sample for prospective employers; and, possibly, have a published work that can be promoted on a resume.


For a complete listing of scholarships and fellowships, please visit the External Scholarships page.


  • Reed Smith LLP Diverse Scholars Program
    The Diverse Scholars Program provides two $15,000 awards toward tuition for the second year of law school, as well as a paid summer associate position after completion of the second year of law school.

    The program is open to first-year law students who have demonstrated excellent academic scholarship and a commitment to diversity, inclusion and community.

    Learn more about Reed Smith’s IP practice.
  • The Richard Linn American Inn of Court Mark T. Banner Scholarship for Law Students
    The recipient of the scholarship receives $5,000 to be applied to his or her legal education. This scholarship is available to law students who have entered into a J.D. program at an ABA-accredited law school in the United States.

    Criteria for the award include commitment to the pursuit of a career in intellectual property law and membership in a historically underrepresented group in IP law (including race, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation and disability).
  • Donald W. Banner Diversity Scholarship
    Open to all students currently enrolled in an ABA-accredited law school and pursuing a career in intellectual property law.

    The applicant must be a member of a historically under-represented group (including race, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and disability) and must have exemplary writing and oral communication skills.

Writing Competitions

  • American Intellectual Property Law Association — AIPLA Fellows Award
    The AIPLA Fellows Award of $2,000 is awarded to the author of best article relating to a specified topic, announced in the fall prior to the June competition deadline.

    Articles must be original and written between July 1 and June 30 of the competition year and must not have been published prior to submission.
  • American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Nathan Burkan Competition on Copyright Law
    Deadline: June
    The Burkan Competition is open to second- and third-year law students writing in the area of copyright law. All accredited law schools are invited to participate in the competition.

    Email NBMC@ASCAP.com for further details.
  • Berkeley Technology Law Journal Writing Competition
    Deadline: March 1

    The Berkeley Technology Law Journal Writing Competition accepts submissions from J.D. candidates on a wide variety of topics at the intersection of law and technology, including but not limited to: intellectual property, antitrust, First Amendment, entertainment and new media, telecommunications, biotechnology, Internet, and cybercrime.

    First prize includes $2,000.
  • Federal Circuit Bar Association (FBCA) George Hutchinson Writing Competition
    The George Hutchinson Writing Competition is named in honor of the first chief clerk of the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.

    Entries to the contest may discuss any topic that lies within the procedure, substance, or scope of the jurisdiction of the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.

    The FBCA accepts submissions from law students attending ABA-accredited law schools writing in the area of trademark and patent law.
  • FoxKiser Annual Writing Competition in Law, Science & Medicine
    Deadline: June 30
    The FoxKiser Annual Writing Competition in Law, Science & Medicine selects two papers each year on any issue related to law, science and medicine.

    FoxKiser will seek publication of the winning entries in an appropriate journal related to the selected topic; further, the first-prize winner is awarded $4,000, and the second-prize winner is awarded $1,000.

    The competition is open to all students currently enrolled, including students graduating in this academic year.
  • Georgia State University (GSU) Intellectual Property Writing Competition
    Deadline: April 30

    The GSU Intellectual Property Writing Competition seeks papers addressing legal issues and challenges in the intellectual property field.

    First place is awarded $3,000; second place, $2,000; and third place, $1,000.

    Winners also have the opportunity to have their paper published in the conference materials for the annual Corporate IP Institute (CIPI), a two-day event with about 200 IP professionals discussing intellectual property issues, stories and strategies of corporations at Georgia State University College of Law. In addition, the first place winner may present her or his paper at the conference.

    Open to students of any ABA-accredited law school.
  • Grammy Foundation Entertainment Law Initiative (ELI) Writing Competition
    Deadline: January 4, 2014

    The ELI Writing competition challenges students to identify, research, and write an essay with a proposed solution on a compelling legal issue confronting the music industry.

    A national panel of music law experts judges the papers in a blind process and selects five finalists; $5,000 is awarded for first place and $1,500 for each of the four runners-up.

    All five finalists receive one Grammy Awards ticket, hotel accommodations, round trip airfare, one ticket to the Entertainment Law Initiative Luncheon, one ticket to MusiCares Person of the Year dinner, and an invitation to the Grammy Nominee Reception.
  • International Trademark Association Ladas Memorial Award
    Deadline: January 17, 2014

    This writing competition was established in tribute to the distinguished practitioner and author Stephen P. Ladas.

    The award is presented annually in two author categories, student and professional. It is given to the best paper on the subject of trademark law or a matter that directly relates to or affects trademarks.
  • New York Intellectual Property Association (NYIPLA) — Annual William C. Conner Intellectual Property Writing Competition
    Deadline: March 7, 2014

    NYIPLA offers awards for excellence in writing by law students in the field of intellectual property law.

    The awards are named in honor of the Honorable William C. Conner, senior district judge, Southern District of New York.
  • New York State Bar Association Law Student Writing Competition
    Deadline: December 19, 2013

    The NYSBA invites you to participate in the Intellectual Property Law Section’s Fifteenth Annual Law Student Writing Competition.

    The winners receive cash prizes ($2,000 for first prize and $1,000 for second) and are presented with an award during the Annual Meeting in New York City, January 28, 2014.

    In addition, the Section publishes the winning papers in the Section’s newsletter, Bright Ideas.
  • Virginia State Bar IP Section Law Student Writing Competition
    Deadline: May

    The Virginia State Bar Intellectual Property Section is seeking papers written by law students who are attending law school in Virginia or are residents of Virginia attending law school outside of Virginia relating to an intellectual property law issue or the practice of intellectual property law.

    The winner receives a cash prize of $4,000. The judge of the final round of the competitor is the Honorable Richard Linn, judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.